History of the Bagel

New York style boiled bagelThe bagel was invented in Central Europe according to a 1610 document.
This historical document mentions giving beygls to women in childbirth as a gift. Another story goes that the croissant and the bagel were invented in 1683 in Vienna, Austria, when local bakers created them to commemorate the victory in the Battle of Vienna over the Turks. The first bagels were made in the shape of a horseshoe.

The name originated from the word “beugal” meaning bale or bail. Variants of the word are used in Yiddish and Austrian German languages to refer to a round loaf of bread. In southern German dialects, “beuge” refers to a pile of something. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, bakeries on Brick Lane in London have been selling bagels.

Ashkenazi Jews brought the bagel to the US in the 1880s. The bagel continues to be extremely popular in New York City among patrons of all types. In the 1920s, bagels were rare in the US with the exception of a few Jewish-dominant cities. The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last twenty-five years of the twentieth century.

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